In its order acquitting the brother-sister duo in the murder of Vinay Mahato (13), a student of Sapphire International School in Ranchi in 2016, the Juvenile Justice Board has pointed out the prosecution’s failure to produce the digital video recording (DVR), non-recording of the statement of the accused under Section 164 of the CrPC and forensic report not confirming that blood samples found in the room of the accused was that of the deceased boy.
The court passed the order on July 6, a copy of which became available on Thursday. In his order, Principal Magistrate Rajiv Tripathi said, “For the sake of argument if it is assumed the children had confessed their guilt before the police then why the IO did not take any step to get their confessional statements recorded before a magistrate of u/s 164 of the CrPC….” Further, he said, “It is a matter of great surprise that the DVR having CCTV footages, which might have been the best evidence, were collected by the investigating agency but the same has been withheld by the prosecution.”
The magistrate also noted that according to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, blood samples found in the room of the accused were of Group-B, while the blood group of the deceased was Group-O. “It seems that the police wrongly arrived to conclusion that blood of the deceased was found in the house of the children. They ought to have waited for the FSL report before arriving at any conclusion,” the magistrate stated.
Acquitting the duo, the court said there was “not any iota of evidence against the children to connect them from any angle to the crime”. The prosecution had alleged that the victim had been invited to dinner by a teacher of his school. On reaching there, the teacher’s son beat him up over his affair with his sister, the prosecution said. They alleged that the siblings and their mother pushed Vinay from the gallery of the first floor of teachers’ quarters, leading to his death. The police had later arrested the woman teacher, her husband, also a teacher at the school, for allegedly aiding the crime and trying to hide it. The couple is facing trial in the district court. Vinay’s father Man Bahal Mahato said, “I am still waiting for justice for my son. The police have not caught the real culprits.”